The other week, Facebook shared a memory from nine years ago with me:
Girl Talk responded to my email! I’m one step closer to marrying that man.
I chuckled at the memory. Nine years ago, my major life goals consisted of getting on stage at a Girl Talk concert and finding a way to convince the man behind the beats, Gregg Gillis, to marry me. So it’s well suited to end my music mini-series with one of his mixed tracks, Bounce That by Girl Talk.
This is my life… to music.
Bounce That by Girl Talk
Girl Talk is a DJ specializing in mashups and digital sampling. His instrument of choice is his laptop. He’s tall and lanky, a former engineer, and from Pittsburgh. Pretty much the complete opposite of who you would imagine behind the mixes he produces, which makes him that much more awesome.
I’m not embarrassed to admit Girl Talk is still a primary staple in my music rolodex. His mashups are pretty much my entire iPod rolled up into hour-long dance parties. And while I have many memories of Girl Talk in my life, like trying to make friends with him via Facebook, or forcing my friend to drive from Providence to Boston to see him perform…on a Tuesday, or forcing my pre-husband to see him at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (I’m apparently very forceful), my best memories come from my college years, where me and my merry band of idiot friends religiously danced to his mashups.
We be on it all night. We be on it all day.
Penn State is huge. When school is in session, you are just a dot among 40,000+ dots wandering from class to class. Well, I’m sure there were dots that were less wandering, more knowingly attending, observing, retaining. I… was wandering. Then ever so quickly, Spring semester is over and cars filled with paper lamps and highlighter-filled liquor bottle decor back out of student housing and the populous turns from 40,000 to a mere 10,000.
And it’s those 10,000 you want to meet.
Those 10,000 are the people who refuse to go back home for the summer. Who failed the entry class to their degree and need to make it up before next year. Who said ‘fuck it’ to rekindling their high school friendships. Who would rather squat in a house with no door lock, a blow up mattress, and a broken toilet before going back to their old life. Am I getting too detailed? Do I need to end this paragraph with #AskingForAFriend?
Those summers, with those 10,000, is where I made my best friends in college, and when I met Girl Talk.
The west side of Penn State, past Atherton St., was known as the stoner side of downtown. I never lived there full time, but I did gypsy my ass there for a summer. It was pretty awesome despite the fact that I had an 18 minute walk to my part time job… struggle. And of those 10,000, throughout the summer, I met a small group of free birds who invited me over for a party on the west side. And man, they could party.
I walked into a rickety house, something you’d have to force your own grandmother to move out of overtime, and felt a pulsing of music through the wooden floors. With every step towards the music, the vibration grew stronger, and as my feet numbed with sound waves, the beats became clear. Missy Elliot morphed to The Beatles morphed to Radiohead and morphed to Ludicrous. Then.. what the fuck… is that Nirvana intertwined with Salt-N-Pepa? This. Is. Amazing.
I made my way to the living room to discover a group a people dancing just to dance! Now let me explain that, because it’s honestly awesome. No one is grinding on you. You don’t know if people are single or taken, because it doesn’t matter. It’s pure dance, that’s all. Dance your heart out, let your makeup run (if you’re wearing any), and have a good time. My favorite spot in life, for a long time, was the center of that dance floor, in the old smelly living room, where the floor boards began to bow inward from the constant bouncing bouncing of bodies.
Almost every weekend that summer I’d drop anything I was doing if I knew a Girl Talk dance party was happening at the hippy house. Middle of a date? Sorry not sorry. Responsibly getting to bed early? Ha. I got a dance party to go to. What should I wear? Doesn’t matter.
The summer eventually dwindles down to cooler nights, and Fall semester is upon you. The 10,000 starts to await their friends return, and I’d get sad, because they were my friends. My favorite friends…
And then, in September, well into first exams, I get a call… a Girl Talk dance party is happening. Without saying goodbye to my friends at the basic bar, I dash over to the hippy house, stopping at my place for a hair tie and better shoes (who wants to dance in heels?), and reunite with my very special friends, the friends of 10,000.